TAIPEI (Taiwan News) — More than 7,000 Chinese masks labeled as made in Taiwan were seized by Taiwan’s customs authorities on Monday (Aug. 10), the latest in a string of frauds abusing Taiwan’s reputation for mask manufacturing.
The Customs Administration reported a total of 7,350 fake masks in 13 shipments imported from China, which could end up being sold by street vendors at night markets. August has seen such cases on a daily basis, as sales of the less-costly China-made masks represent a lucrative market, wrote Liberty Times.
Most of the counterfeits were shipped to Taiwan via express deliveries and impounded by customs for their fraudulent origin labels. The authorities have tightened border controls in a ratcheted-up crackdown on fake masks amid the coronavirus pandemic.
Those who attempt to import phony masks erroneously labeled as made in Taiwan will face a fine of up to NT$3 million (US$102,000) in accordance with the Foreign Trade Act, customs warned. A permit must be obtained from the Ministry of Health and Welfare for the importation of medical masks, or the importers will risk violating the Pharmaceutical Affairs Act.
Last week, Chinese masks mislabeled as having been made by a member of the “national mask team of Taiwan” emerged on the e-commerce platform Shopee. Sales of such counterfeits have also been rampant in the markets of Japan and the Philippines and have been flagged by netizens on social media.
Fake made-in-Taiwan masks (Customs Administration photos)